BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “For me, it’s a lot of his impact, his legacy, and those things are probably the most important to me.”

Jonathan McGrath, remembers volunteering for P.U.N.T. and working with organizations that wanted to give back to the community. It wasn’t until he received news, that his two-year-old son, Cooper, had a tumor in his brain, that he truly understood the impact P.U.N.T. really has for a family facing the hardships of pediatric cancer.

“When there were times where you are stumbling around in the dark–they were a crutch for us,” McGrath said. “Both financially and emotionally. There’s a lot of families that I met through the organization that are going through the same thing and I appreciate them and they’ve helped us along.”

His son, Cooper, passed away in May.

Now, Jonathan continues to keep Cooper’s legacy strong, while helping about 100 of families just like his–through every step of the painful process.

“I’m trying to put my pain to purpose, and raise money, funds and awareness for the organization,” he said.

P.U.N.T. Pediatric Collaborative, helps families who are handling the hardships of pediatric cancer, both financially, and emotionally, throughout the City of Good Neighbors.

“For the generosity for the community, we can’t fix it but we can ease burdens, and that’s what we’re all about here–the most important ways that families need help,” said Gwen Mysiak, Executive Director of P.U.N.T.

There are many different ways people can help support P.U.N.T., especially during the holiday season. Every year, they hold an “Adopt a Family” program, that provides children and their family’s wish lists to be fulfilled for Christmas, and due to donor’s response, they have been able to adopt every family in WNY with this program.

But this year, their priority is also giving, “the gift of piece of mind” to families who are facing the difficult journey of cancer during the holidays, through their “Home for the Holidays” program.

“After the holidays are over, and families are still dealing with the ripple effect of pediatric cancer diagnosis, we keep giving, by helping them with a rent or mortgage payments,” said Mysiak. “The more money we raise during the holiday season, that fund is earmarked for assistance, it’s prioritized based on need.”

To help donate towards P.U.N.T. this holiday season, visit their website here for more information. To donate directly to the organization, click here.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.